Catholic History of Quilon

1. Bishop House of the Diocese of Quilon


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The Diocese of Quilon, the first diocese in India and the cradle of Indian Christianity is proud to welcome you to this web portal. The vibrant catholic community of Quilon (Kollam) cherishes its unique history of being founded by St. Thomas the Apostle of Jesus, nurtured by the great apostle St. Francis Xavier and fostered by the saintly martyr Archbishop JordanusCatalani de Severac

The Diocese of Quilon was one of the oldest Dioceses of Kerala. Quilon (Now Kollam) was one of the seven churches founded by the Apostle St. Thomas. Two Bishops were also appointed by the Apostle himself one at Quilon and the other either at Cranganore (Kodungallur) or Angamaly. Quilon was one of the major settlements of Syrian Christian immigrants from Persia in the 4th Century. Since the latter half of the 12th Century Quilon became the chief center of Franciscan and Dominican missionaries.

Till 1838, the territory of the existing Diocese of Quilon was governed by the Diocese of Goa and afterwards it became a part of the Diocese of Verapoly. The Diocese of Quilon was erected on September 1, 1886. In 1930 certain parts in the south was transferred to the Diocese of Kottar. Again in 1937 and in 1986 the diocese was again divided to form Dioceses of Trivandrum and Punalur respectively. The Diocese is comprised a major portion of Kollam revenue district, KarthikapallyTaluk and portions of Mavelikkara and ChengannurTaluk of Alappuzha district. The Patron of the Diocese is Our Lady of Mount Carmel. The headquarters of the Diocese is Thangassery at Kollam.

2. St Andrew’s Church, Kovilthottam


St Andrew’s Church, Kovilthottam is an historic Roman Catholic church situated in the Panmana–Chavarapanchayat, Karunagappallitaluk, Kollam district, Kerala, India. Built in 1398, it was reconstructed in 1779 by the Franciscan missionary Father Yovakim de Santiago. The church is also a parish church, part of the Diocese of Quilon, established in the 14th century. Masses are held in English and follow the Roman Rite liturgy.

Built in Portuguese colonial architecture style and dedicated to St Andrew,the church was recently renovated and subsequently consecrated by Bishop of Roman Catholic Diocese of Quilon, Stanley Roman on January 20, 2006.

Kovilthottam is a small coastal village and a port, between Chavara T.S. canal part of the Kerala backwaters and Arabian sea to its west, it is approachable from Chavara from the iron footbridge. The Church is a popular pilgrimage and tourist destination of Chavara.

3. St. Antony’s church Vaddy Kollam

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The Vaddy St. Antony’s church in the city will celebrate its centenary with a year-long festival beginning November 13 with various programmes. The parish has a 700-year recorded history and the present structure is 100 years old. According to records available with the Kollam diocese, the present structure of the Vaddy church is the third one during its 700-year history. The earlier structures had been washed away by the sea.

The history of the parish is linked with the ancient port in Kollam and the community consisted of Christians from Syria and Armenia who are believed to have enriched the Christian life here in those days. But they got a definite identity only with the arrival of Dominican and Franciscan missionaries in the 14th Century. In 1329, Kollam was made the first diocese of the Catholic Church in Asia through a decree by the then Pope John XX11 and the Dominican friar JordanusCatalani the first bishop through a separate papal bull the same year.

Cathalani had been in Kollam since 1323 and had built the first church at Vaddy, then named St. George church. When Cathalani became bishop, the Vaddy church was elevated to the status of a cathedral. Diocesan records show that the papal legate John Marignoli had stayed at the church for 16 months. With the arrival of the Portuguese in Kollam in 1503, Franciscan missionaries took over the church and the administration of the local Christian community. They changed the name of the church to St. Antony’s church.

In 1699, Bishop Dom Peters Pachao built a new church for the parish, but that too got destroyed some years later. The present church was built between 1910 and 1913 by Ambrose Kompadi, a Goan priest. Seven years ago, the façade of the church was given a facelift, but the structure was retained. The archives of the church preserve marriage registers in Portuguese from the year 1700 to 1850. M. Marcelus, secretary of the centenary festival committee, said the programme schedule is under preparation. Monsignor George Mathew is the chairman of the committee.

4. St. Mary’s Church, Pullichira


The history of Pullichira Marian devotion dates back to the 16th century A. D. The sailors of a Portuguese ship, who were saved from a perilous sea storm through the intercession of our lady had put the statue of Virgin Mary in their possession in a box and floated it on the Arabian sea with a resolve to build a church where the box with the statue was washed ashore. It was this miraculous statue that reached the shores of Pullichira around 1520 A.D.

The faithful followers of Pullichira gladly placed the statue in the then existing small church. Later the Portuguese arrived here and built a church in 1572 A.D. with a beautifully carved wooden altar, at the top of which they installed the miraculous statue of Our Lady. The statue is preserved intact in this new church built in 1974. The Parish was established in 1627 A.D.

This church is located in MayyanadPanchayath, Kollam District. It has been built at a place of scenic beauty on the banks of Pullichira Lake. This Church is accessible from Kottiyam (2 km), from Mayyanad (2 km), and from Kollam town (12 km). Annual pilgrimage, rituals and celebration of festivals are routine here

5. St. John Baptist Church, Thirumullavaram

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6. Edachal Matha Church, Pattamthuruth


This is an old beautiful church built by the Dutch in 1878. The red church, a classic beauty of Dutch-Kerala architecture, occupies pride of place on Munroe island. this church has survived the test of time and looks like a stoic witness to the different moods of the Ashtamudi Lake along the Church to take a look at the huge white pillars, a typical form of Dutch architecture.

There are no regular masses here and the dust that has gathered is evidence.. On the western side of Munroe Island flows the majestic Kallada River. From the Kadavu, to cross the river in a country boat that ferries people to West Kallada and back. This is the best way to enjoy the beauty of rain in a river. where a boat race was conducted during Onam. Munroe Island got its name from Colonel Munroe, the British Resident of erstwhile Travancore. He was elevated to the post of Dewan. He held the post till 1914 and was instrumental in connecting Munroe Island to the other islands by digging navigable canals.

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